State infuses city project

Published 10:41 pm Saturday, January 22, 2011

An architect's rendering of the proposed amphitheater. -- Illustration

A state-of-the-art amphitheater for the Selma Riverfront Park will eventually rise from the banks of the Alabama River along Water Street behind businesses, Selma Planning and Development Department Director Charlotte Griffeth said.

The $1.2 million project received recently another $250,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

Recently, Griffeth asked the Selma City Council to approve spending the $250,000 on engineering work and a project manager.

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Council president Cecil Williamson said the body would take up the initiative when it meets again Tuesday, Jan. 24.

“I’m not sure why we need a project manager,” Williamson said. “I thought that’s what planning and development was supposed to do.”

If approved, the city would hire Janey Galbraith of Galbraith and Associates, a grant-writing firm, to fill out the paperwork and ensure proper communication regarding the ADECA grant, Griffeth said.

Drawings of the project, provided by Davis Architects of Birmingham and Atlanta, show the old warehouse building not far from the park’s site being moved to near the river and a stage constructed at the front. The two ends of the warehouse building would be used for offices and storage, according to plans.

Davis constructed the amphitheater in Tuscaloosa, which is supposed to offer its first concert by Sugarland on April 15, according to the venue’s website.

“This is just a smaller version of that,” Griffeth said of the Tuscaloosa amphitheater.

Bids are expected to go out for construction of the Selma amphitheater soon. The bids will include a base bid for the slope and grading for seating. The rest will come as addenda, according to Griffeth.

“if we have to use the money that we have; we use the money that we have, but we are in a position to upgrade and to make it a class act and make it one of the nicest amphitheaters in the state,” she said.